Haiti's Children still Deprived of Education

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 A Collapsed School in Haiti

Reports from Haiti indicate that the country's children are still largely without education 6 months after the earthquake

The state of education even prior to the earthquake was very poor. Only 15% of schools were provided by the state - and parents - as in much of the Global South had to pay school fees. Some schools were destroyed in the 2008 hurricane and of course many more in the earthquake.  Even before the earthquake struck only half of Haiti's children were in school and only a fifth of the teachers were qualified to teach.

An excellent report and video in the UK Guardian follows one head teacher, running one of the many private schools, struggling to get his school back on its feet after widespread damage in the earthquake and unable to pay his staff because the number of pupils had dramatically declined and those who came could not afford to pay the full fees. Despite not being paid two thirds of the teachers continued to teach - a further third refused to carry on - understandable when they presumably also have families to feed. This is just another example of the way teachers fill the gaps left when states refuse or in the case of Haiti are unable to take up their responsibility to educate children - often at great personal expense.

Ever since its establishment by Toussaint Louverture - leader of slaves who had fought for their freedom from the French at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Haiti has suffered attack both military and economic first by France and subsequently by the USA- it has never been allowed to develop as a successful state (see previous post for links). Yet the founders of the state envisaged free compulsory primary education for all - an idea way ahead of its time. Despite the huge outpouring of sympathy and money-raising by the people of the world,the world's leaders have stood by as Haiti's children are deprived of a future. 

To view the Guardian report go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2010/jul/10/haiti-natural-disasters-school 

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